News Round-Up: October 19, 2020

Cameron Hawthorn (photo: Matthew Holler)

Some news items you might have missed:

Podcast: Just a reminder to please take a listen to my chat with the oh-so-talented country artist Cameron Hawthorn (above). I’ve been a fan for a long time, so I’m happy to share he’s just as charming as I expected.

Instinct Magazine: With hate crimes on the rise in Italy, LGBTQ folks are marching in the streets.

Netflix: Check out the trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom directed by George C. Wolfe starring a cast headed up by Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. Coming to Netflix on December 18. “Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues.’”

Axios: The Supreme Court denied a request from Pennsylvania’s Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court’s 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Jewish News: Ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, some 75 percent of U.S. Jews would vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, while 22 percent would vote to re-elect U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a poll released on Monday by the American Jewish Committee. In 2016, 71 percent of American Jews voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, while 24 percent voted for Trump.

Politico: In an episode that has since become legendary within the CIA, Donald Trump was reportedly in the middle of a highly classified briefing on Afghanistan at his New Jersey golf club when he suddenly craved a malted milkshake. “Does anyone want a malt? We have the best malts, you have to try them,” Trump insisted, as he beckoned a waiter into the room where code-word classified intelligence was being discussed.

Fox News: Donald Trump called CNN “dumb bastards” during a campaign stop today for continuing to cover a worldwide pandemic that’s killed over 220,000 Americans and continues to surge across the country.

News Round-Up: September 15, 2020

L-R Blake Lee, Ben Lewis (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

TVLine: Blake Lee (Parks and Recreation, Mixology) and Ben Lewis (Arrow, Shadowhunters) – a married couple in real life (above) – have been announced to star in Lifetime’s first-ever holiday movie with an LGBTQ storyline, The Christmas Setup. Fran Drescher, of The Nanny fame, will play Lewis’s mother in the TV flick.

Boy Culture: Madonna’s biopic has been fast-tracked by Universal, and today we learn not only is the Queen of Pop co-writing the script with Diablo Cody, but Madge will direct the film of her life as well.

LGBTQ Nation: A city councilwoman in Minot, North Dakota, came out & delivered an epic smackdown to man complaining about a Pride flag. “So Mr. Walker, if you’re not aware, and I think a lot of people in this room are not aware and have come here just because this is a gay issue, I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota. So that is why I am not paying any heed to your crap.”

Pew Research: A new 13-nation Pew Research Center survey indicates America’s reputation has declined among many key allies and partners since Donald Trump took office. In several countries, the share of the public with a favorable view of the U.S. is as low as it has been at any point since the Center began polling on this topic nearly two decades ago.

Edge Media: An Italian man has been accused of killing his 18-year-old sister in a rage because she was dating a transgender man. The suspect told authorities that he “wanted to teach her a lesson.”

CNBC: More on the death of civility – CNBC host Jim Cramer called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “Crazy Nancy” to her face during an interview on Tuesday morning — a derogatory term usually used by Donald Trump. The Mad Money host was asking Pelosi about stalled negotiations on a 4th coronavirus stimulus package when the nickname popped out.

“What deal can we have, Crazy Nancy — I’m sorry, that was the president,” Cramer said, realizing the moment didn’t play as well as he’d planned in his head. “I have such reverence for the office, I would never use that term.” Pelosi (D-Calif.) stayed calm telling Cramer: “But you just did. But you just did.”

Italy: Violin Twins Go Viral Covering Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’

Here’s a feel-good moment for your Monday afternoon.

These talented twins in Sicily have gone viral with their amazing rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ during a quarantine lockdown in Italy.

Mirko and Valerio, shared the performance on YouTube, along with the caption (translated): “We thought we’d spend a bit of time with you all, from north to south. For us, music is a source of relief, and we hope you guys can use it too.”

“‘Viva la Vida’ by Coldplay seemed like the perfect song for this Sunday, full of sunshine and hope.”

Watch the viral violin twins’ performance below.

News Round-Up: March 11, 2020

Tom Hanks (image via Flickr/Duetsche Bank)

Some news items you might have missed:

Australia: Academy Award winner Tom Hanks announced he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have been diagnosed with coronavirus while shooting a movie in Australia.

• Washington Post: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic, reflecting alarm that countries aren’t working quickly and aggressively enough to fight the disease it causes, covid-19.

NY Times: Donald Trump told the U.S. tonight he would be suspending all travel from Europe for the next 30 days starting Friday. The restrictions will not apply to Britain.

Instinct: Riley Knoxx, known to be the most prolific Beyonce impersonator in the game today, became the first openly transgender woman to perform at an NBA halftime show. She performed a three-song medley of Beyonce’s classic hits and was joined by the Washington Wizards dancers at the Washington Wizards annual Pride Night.

Associated Press: Authorities in Italy have announced that all stores except pharmacies and food outlets will close in response to the country’s coronavirus outbreak. So far, 827 people have died from Covid-19 inside Italy, whereas 12,462 have been infected with the virus in the country.

The Advocate: Netflix has renewed the Emmy Award-winning ‘make better’ reality show Queer Eye for a sixth season scheduled to be filmed in and around Austin, Texas. While season 6 does not yet have a release date, season 5, based in Philadelphia, will debut this summer on Netflix.

• Manchester Evening News: David Bailey, 18, and Ashley Roberts, 19, have both been sentenced to 32 months in a young offender institution after attacking a gay couple for holding hands. During the incident, the victims were punched and kicked while being told they would “burn in hell.” Bailey blamed his behavior on being drunk.

Out Music: Nonbinary singer/songwriter Claud teams up with buddy Del Water Gap for the collaborative single, “My Body.” The track has a chill, easy feel that fall’s comfortably on the ear.

The duo calls the loping, retro-styled pop bop “a light-hearted jaunt and a funny take on our friendship.” With DIY graphics and moments of singing into hairbrushes in the music video, you get that the two aren’t really singing about “my body.” #wink

Italy Expands Travel Restrictions To Entire Country Due To Coronavirus

St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City in Rome

ABC News reports:

Officials in Italy have expanded emergency anti-coronavirus restrictions to apply to the whole country. The Italian government is directing all residents to remain at home and not to travel unless required by their work.

All public gatherings in open air or public places are being banned. Schools in the entire country are to remain closed until April 3.

The decree, which affects all 60 million people living in Italy, will go into effect tomorrow, according to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

As of Monday, Italy had 9,172 coronavirus cases and 463 deaths, according to health officials.

Also, from Reuters: “Pope Francis has canceled his regular appearances in public to stop crowds gathering to see him and will stream them on the internet from inside the Vatican because of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.”

News Round-Up: August 22, 2018

• One of my fave InstaHunks, Rodiney Santiago, is currently chronicling his journey through Italian islands where I was just two weeks ago! #MyTimingWasOff
Rodiney Santiago

Some news items you might have missed:

• One of my fave InstaHunks, Rodiney Santiago, is currently chronicling his journey through Italian islands where I was just two weeks ago! You have to click over and check out his gorgeous vacay pics. #MyTimingWasOff

• Pro-football player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez reportedly came out to his lawyer before committing suicide in 2015.

• Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, the first trans candidate for govnernor of a major party, is receiving death threats.

• A self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader in Maryland has been sentenced to four years in prison for firing a gun into a crowd at the 2017 Nazi rally in Charlottesville.

• Craig Zadan, the prolific out producer who brought musicals like The Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, Gypsy and Cinderella back to television died unexpectedly at the age of 69 due to complications from shoulder surgery. His arious productions earned six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 17 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Grammy Award, six GLAAD Awards, four NAACP Image Awards and two Tony Awards.

Cruising In Italy

The first day at the pool – ‘gay soup’

Sorry for the light posting lately, dear readers. I’m currently in Italy on the Atlantis gay cruise from Rome, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain, as an early celebration for hubby Michael’s 50th birthday.

We’re aboard the Celebrity Constellation and having an awesome time. Rich Campbell and his crew do such an awesome job of making these cruises so fun and inviting for the LGBT community.

Today, we woke up in Naples, Italy, and took part in an excursion to the island of Capri (the land of my husband, Michael Caprio’s people) and Positano. In between landings, the boat we were on stopped for about half hour periods for the 12 of us on the trip to swim in the gorgeous blue ocean here.

I’ll be sharing a bit more as the cruise progresses, but if you’ve never done an Atlantis Cruise, I highly recommend it.

And no, there was no paid sponsorship for the this post 🙂

The view from our cabin this morning as we docked in Naples, Italy

Just a bit of early morning encouragement

Michael swimming during a break in the day (I don’t do ‘ocean’)

Inside the world-famous Blue Grotto near Capri, Italy

Michael being a bit nervous in the beautiful church in Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy, was beautiful

Italy Celebrates First Same-Sex Civil Union

It’s not exactly marriage, but it’s a step forward for Italy.

This past weekend the mayor of Rome officiated the country’s first-ever same-sex civil union between Francisco Raffaele Villarusso and Luca de Sario in front of of family and friends.

“We had already decided do it and we moved abroad, but when the bill was approved we packed up all our things and came back to Italy,” said Villarusso.

From NewNowNext:

Italy was the last country in the European Union to allow for same-sex civil unions, which happened last May after a bill was passed that would have forced Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to step down if the vote failed.

Despite the progress, however, there is still headway to be made.

In addition to the bill being criticized for containing a controversial adoption clause, reports are indicating that if the couple tries to combine their last names instead of just choosing one over the other, they may run into tax and identity problems that heterosexual couples don’t have to deal with.